Editor's Note: One of the things I love about designer Kathy Merrick is that she has energy to spare. A few weeks ago, we gave you a preview of her pattern in Crocheted Gifts by Kim Werker. This week, we give a preview of her new book, Crochet in Color. Kathy's book is all about helping you embrace color. Her own color choices are lovely, but with each pattern she offers you options for combining colors in another way to make the pattern truly your own. Today, she talks about her lively blanket, Urchins and Limpets. You can download the pattern for free here.
And, now, here's Kathy.
I’m back! My new Interweave book, Crochet In Color, is all about ways to make your crocheting full of color. It includes garments, accessories, and things for the home, such as the Urchins and Limpets blanket. The blanket is made of two different motifs, the larger ones all worked in the same neutral color, and the smaller centers worked in several different lively colors, such as zinnia red, spruce green, and raisin. If you want to make this blanket in your own colors, choose a calm, neutral color for the background so that the bright centers will really pop out. Mine is done with an oatmeal background, but you could choose grey, navy, bottle green, or ecru. Then have fun playing with happy punchy contrast colors. A grey background would look terrific with several pinks, reds, and oranges for the centers, or with black, pale blue, brown, and beige, a combination that’s very chic for winter.
Once you have your colors worked out, develop a strategy for making the blanket. I find that a large task has a better chance of getting done if you have a strategy (or a deadline!). You could certainly work all of the background motifs first and then fill in with the colorful centers. But I like having a little reward when I’m making a large project. So I made four background motifs and then a center. Then I continued on this way, adding large motifs and then a center.
This kept the blanket making interesting until the end.
The Urchins blanket is made with Mission Falls 1824 wool, a worsted weight yarn that you’d knit with US8 (5 mm) to get a gauge of about 4-4.5 sts. per inch. In order to get a look that approximates that in crochet, particularly with motifs based on single crochet, you need to use a hook larger than 5 mm. I used a 6 mm hook (US J/10) hook here. This produces a soft, comfy, friendly covering and not a shield-like, cardboard-y, big, unfriendly giant.
Watch Kim Werker and me talk about making this project while trying not to be silly on Knitting Daily TV. And look for Crochet In Color in bookstores soon. It’s full of fun, beautiful projects.